MARTIN J. FORMAN MEMORIAL LECTURE Tackling Obesity and Noncommunicable Diseases in Mexico: A Policy Approach

Globally, the prevalence of overweight and obesity has nearly tripled since 1975—among adults over the age of 18, more than 1.25 billion are overweight and 650 million are obese. Overweight and obesity affects more than 340 million children and adolescents ages 5 to 19 and nearly 39 million children under 5. These rates have risen significantly in low- and middle-income countries, as rising poverty and inequity, urbanization, and climate and humanitarian crises limit access to healthy diets, especially for the poorest and most marginalized.

The 33rd Annual Martin J. Forman Memorial Lecture will feature Dr. Simón Barquera, the Director of Nutrition and Health Research Center at the National Institute of Public Health of Mexico (INSP) who will address the growing obesity epidemic and alarming rate of diet-related noncommunicable diseases in Mexico. Outlining the INSP’s initiatives and policy recommendations, Dr. Barquera will speak about the Mexican government’s efforts to improve food environments in Mexico, as well as the response of the food industry to these efforts. While focused on Mexico, the lecture will provide recommendations for other countries struggling with rising obesity and non-communicable diseases.

The annual lecture commemorates Martin J. Forman, who headed the Office of Nutrition at USAID for more than 20 years and made a significant impact on international nutrition. The lecturer is invited to present personal views about major issues related to malnutrition.


  • Johan Swinnen, Managing Director, Systems Transformation, CGIAR and Director General, IFPRI


  • Kenan Forman, Son of Martin J. Forman
  • Kellie Stewart, Chief, Nutrition and Environmental Health Division, USAID

Forman Memorial Lecture

  • Dr. Simón Barquera, Director, Center for Research in Nutrition and Health, National Institute of Public Health, México. President Elect, World Obesity Federation


  • Purnima Menon, Senior Director, Food and Nutrition Policy, CGIAR and IFPRI